Ladder 49

Last Updated on: June 26th, 2024

Ladder 49 (Touchstone Movie)

“Ladder 49” is a 2004 action-drama film directed by Jay Russell and starring Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta. The movie follows the life of firefighter Jack Morrison, played by Joaquin Phoenix, as he reflects on his experiences and career within the Baltimore Fire Department while trapped inside a burning building.

The film utilizes flashbacks to showcase Jack’s journey from being a rookie firefighter to becoming a seasoned veteran. Throughout his career, he forms deep bonds with his fellow firefighters, particularly his mentor, Chief Mike Kennedy, portrayed by John Travolta.

As the story unfolds, “Ladder 49” portrays the dangerous and heroic nature of firefighting, showcasing the courage and sacrifice required to protect others. The film delves into the emotional toll that such a profession can have on the firefighters’ personal lives and the impact on their families.

The heart of the movie lies in the camaraderie and brotherhood among the firefighters. It highlights their unwavering commitment to one another and the selflessness required to face life-threatening situations on a daily basis.

With stunning and realistic fire sequences, “Ladder 49” captures the intensity and danger of firefighting, making it a visually gripping experience. The film also explores the emotional struggles faced by firefighters and their loved ones, giving viewers an intimate look into the challenges of the profession.

“Ladder 49” received generally positive reviews from critics and was praised for its realistic portrayal of firefighting and its emotional depth. The performances of Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta were particularly acclaimed, adding to the film’s impact.

Overall, “Ladder 49” is a moving tribute to the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect their communities and a poignant exploration of the sacrifices they make in the line of duty.

Ladder 49

Additional Details


  • Joaquin Phoenix: Firefighter Jack Morrison
  • John Travolta: Deputy Chief (formerly Captain) Mike Kennedy
  • Robert Patrick: Firefighter Leonard “Lenny” Richter
  • Jacinda Barrett: Linda Morrison
  • Morris Chestnut: Firefighter Tommy Drake
  • Balthazar Getty: Firefighter Ray Gauquin
  • Billy Burke: Firefighter Dennis Gauquin
  • Tim Guinee: Captain Tony Corrigan
  • Kevin Chapman: Frank McKinney
  • Jay Hernandez: Probationary Firefighter Keith Perez
  • Kevin Daniels: Firefighter Engineer Don Miller
  • Steve Maye: Firefighter Pete Lamb
  • Robert Logan Lewis: Firefighter Ed Reilly
  • Spencer Berglund: Nicky Morrison
  • Brooke Hamlin: Katie Morrison
  • Sam Stockdale: Himself
  • Paul Novak, Jr.: the Dispatcher
  • Mayor of Baltimore Martin O’Malley: himself


  • Director: Jay Russell
  • Producers: Casey Silver
  • Writer: Lewis Colick

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other site isDMR.